Former President Donald Trump recently achieved the highest amount of support in a Republican presidential primary straw poll from attendees at a prominent conservative conference.
According to the Trafalgar Group poll, the attendees at the Turning Point Action Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, chose Trump at 87.5% among all other Republican candidates, while just 4.3% chose Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
DeSantis achieved third place in the poll behind businessman Perry Johnson, who received 7.8% despite the conference taking place in DeSantis’ state.
Approximately 3,000 attendees took part in the poll, marking half of the event’s 6,000 total attendees. Half of the attendees were between 18-21 years old, while the other half were of varying ages.
Trump recently attended the event, where he delivered a speech covering various topics. DeSantis did not attend the conference in his home state.
According to DeSantis campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin, “Governo DeSantis spent the day with Iowans and spoke to a packed house at the Tennessee GOP Statesman Dinner later that night. This was a day after he delivered the strongest interview at the Family Leadership Summit, which Donald Trump notably skipped. Ron DeSantis is campaigning to win.”
The Turning Point Action attendees chose GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy as their second preference among candidates in the poll. Ramaswamy, who also spoke at the event, was surrounded by attendees afterward.
Trump garnered 21% support from the attendees, and 13.5% chose DeSantis.
Vivek really showed up this weekend and the Turning Point Action straw poll results prove it. 51% of respondents picked this man as their 2nd choice candidate. Pretty remarkable how far he’s come in a very short amount of time. https://t.co/yJzke2HdA2
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 16, 2023
Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, said attendees expressed disappointment over DeSantis’ absence.
“What’s also clear is that Governor DeSantis’ decision not to come to this event probably hurt his showing in this poll,” Kirk said.
“There are a lot of people here who have a lot of respect for the governor and what he’s done in Florida, but I was approached multiple times by attendees telling me they were disappointed he didn’t come, and that’s evident in the poll results. … Vivek showed up and gave a great speech, and he was the clear second-choice favorite among our people,” he added.
Kirk called the conference and its attendees the “pulse of the grassroots.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, were the only other Republican presidential candidates to speak at the event.